The Gibraltar FA is delighted to have officially launched its latest initiative aimed at the development of future generations of local footballers – the Gibraltar FA Academy.
For the first time ever, all youngsters who want to play football, whatever their skill levels and abilities, will register with the Gibraltar FA Academy, instead of the Associations club members, which has been the case up until now.
The first Gibraltar FA Academy cohort will begin in September 2021 for all children who are entering Reception and Year 1 this academic year. All other young footballers will remain with their clubs as per last year.
The Academy, which is open for all children, (boys and girls), will run in conjunction with school years, so the children attending will be enjoying their football with their friends, as opposed to potentially being split up into the more traditional footballing age groups. Sessions, which will will run in line with the school calendar, will take place on Wednesday evenings and Sunday Mornings, at the Victoria Stadium.
A key part of groundwork that has been done, prior to launching the Academy, has been an in-depth recruitment process, overseen by the Gibraltar FA’s Technical and HR Departments, to ensure all the new Academy coaches are trained in basic first aid and safeguarding as well as have passed all the relevant local authority (Royal Gibraltar Police) vetting procedure. This is over and above the standard coaching badges and qualifications that each Academy Coach is required to have.
The Gibraltar FA and its Club Members believe that every child should have the right to participate and play football, regardless of their individual skill level and ability, free from pressure of any kind placed upon them. Therefore, the new Academy will begin the process of setting each youngster off on their footballing journey, where they can hopefully progress and develop their talent and one day fulfil their footballing dream whilst simultaneously and simply allowing each child to have fun whilst playing football. All of this will be carried out in a safe and inclusive environment in which all children will learn the basics of our game.
An integral part of the Gibraltar FA’s commitment to youth development, the Academy is the product of a year-long collaborative process between the Association, Gibraltar’s football clubs and other stakeholders within the football community.
The Gibraltar FA’s General Secretary, Ivan Robba, is thrilled to have been able to launch the project:
“The establishment and launch of the all-new Gibraltar FA Academy is a hugely important step forward for youth football in on the Rock. It represents a shift in focus and a whole new approach towards the way in which our youngsters will begin their footballing journey. Young footballers will now enjoy learning and playing football, regardless of their ability, and their skill levels and this is something all of us involved in Gibraltarian football have been striving to achieve for many years.
I am particularly pleased that the Academy brings together the sterling work that has been carried out over the past year by ourselves at the Association in close co-operation with our Clubs, who have always been instrumental and hugely important in youth football in Gibraltar. This project shows everyone that the football community, as one, is pulling in the same direction, and the right direction, to ensure our children and our children’s children can have the best possible opportunities to learn and enjoy the beautiful game that we all love in a safe, comfortable and fun filled environment.”